Congratulations to the 2020 Award Winners!
2020 Making IT Happen - Laura Raganas, Kentucky Department of Education, Office of Education Technology
Raganas began her education career as an elementary classroom teacher in Taylor County, where she was recognized for her innovative ways of educating students. Not long after she began working with Taylor County, Raganas was asked to take on the role of the district’s digital learning coach. After excelling again in this capacity, she was sought by KDE to focus on statewide school improvement. While with the department, she has lead Kentucky’s IT Academy, STLP Girls Who Code, the Digital Learning Coach Network and the Kentucky Academic Standards for Technology. Raganas has helped support Kentucky’s schools and districts leverage the power of integrating technology into learning. She has made impacts in both the district leadership teams and with teaching staff across the state.
2020 Outstanding Leader - Adrienne Usher, Bullitt County
Adrienne Usher is currently in her 18th year in the field of education and currently serves the students, staff and community as Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning in Bullitt County Public Schools. In her role, she is responsible for overseeing, promoting and implementing curriculum, instruction and assessment programming, PreK-12, alongside district and school leaders while aligning federal, state and local resources to support the instructional vision and mission for the district. In addition, she oversees pupil personnel, school safety, and the growth and development of personnel within human resources. Adrienne has previously served as a teacher, school counselor, instructional coach, principal and district level administrator prior to her present role.
2020 Outstanding Teacher - Jessica Masters, Franklin County
Jessica Holmes Masters (@LibrarianHolmes) is a library media specialist at Westridge Elementary School where she has served in this position for 14 years. Mrs. Masters also serves as the STC, STLP Coordinator, Girls Who Code Coordinator, and Musical Theater Director. She earned National Board Certification in 2011 along with the distinction of being named Teacher of the Year at her school. In 2014, Mrs. Masters was named the National Elementary Winner of the I Love My Librarian Award presented by the American Library Association, the New York Times, and the Carnegie Corporation.
After piloting the elementary Girls Who Code curriculum for the state of Kentucky, Jessica cast a spotlight on her students and school through the national media with her Girls Who Code work. Her program was featured in USA Today and other associated press affiliate newspapers across the country. In addition, her students participated in the first ever Girls Who Code Advocacy Day where her students presented their projects to legislators in an attempt to get a bill passed that would monitor the number of girls enrolled in computer science classes so that solutions to the gender gap can be found. Beyond her work with Girls Who Code, Jessica has also been an STLP leader for over 10 years, bringing the first STLP program to her district. She strongly believes that ALL students can be successful with the right tools, which is evident in the fact her students currently hold state titles in multiple STLP categories and the program is the largest in her school.
Jessica is passionate about encouraging creative technology use in her students, but also believes that there needs to be equal time spent unplugged. While unplugged, she enjoys traveling the world, spending time with her husband Jim and bonus children, and collecting all things Harry Potter.
2020 Outstanding Tech Support - Steve Boone, Hardin County
Hall of Fame
||Outstanding Tech Support*
||Making IT Happen
||Terri Cox Cruey
|| Randy Barrette
|| Terri Stice
||Lisa Bishop Simmons
|| Angela Cunningham
|| Chuck Austin
||Kim Duvall/David Couch
|| Elaine Harrison Lane
|| Leslie Flanders
||Lydia Wells Sledge
*New in 2010
**Know any of our missing content? Please email any Board member and let us know so we can fill it in!
2019 Outstanding Leader - Adam Watson, Shelby County
Adam Watson (@watsonedtech) has been an educator since 2005. He began as an English classroom teacher, eventually earning Teacher of the Year at South Oldham High School in 2009 and becoming National Board Certified in 2013. His belief in the impact of educational technology started with literature circle student podcasts. Not only did the students receive responses from authors of the books, but young adults as far away as China let them know their podcasts were a part of their own classroom experiences. The project led Adam and his students to the cover of Kentucky Teacher in April 2009. In 2014, a Core Content-aligned unit on “Shakespeare and Star Wars” culminated in a Skype Q & A with a New York Times best-selling author, Adam’s unit materials hosted on multiple sites, and a mention in Star Wars Insider in April 2015.
In 2014, Adam became Shelby County Public School’s first Technology Integration Coach; he is currently Shelby’s Digital Learning Coordinator. He was hired to help lead the staff professional development on blended learning as Shelby began its K-12 1:1 initiative. This led to the creation of a “Share Fair” conference model (presented by Shelby staff, but open for all to attend) that has been a popular annual event since 2015. Among other achievements while at Shelby, Adam was the writer and adapter of a digital citizenship district curriculum that annually spirals through five focus strands and consists of 65 non-repeating K-12 lessons.
Adam believes strongly in education technology, but in that order. He loves to share his tips, tools and thoughts through his blog “Edtech Elixirs” and his YouTube channel (which combined currently have over a quarter million views). His wife and two daughters inspire him to continue learning and leading.
2019 Outstanding Teacher - Danna Pearsall, Hardin County
Danna Pearsall teaches English at Central Hardin High School. In her 13 years of experience, she has had the privilege of teaching all levels of junior- and senior-level English as well as Creative Writing and Shakespeare. She earned her BA in English, MA in Teaching, and MA in English, and is currently working on her EdS in Supervisor of Instruction.
Mrs. Pearsall has been a member of the Hardin County Schools Technology Innovate Fellowship since its inception in 2016. She was also one of the first in her district to earn a grant for a classroom set of Chromebooks, which she uses daily in her teaching. In addition, with the support of the Technology Innovate Fellowship, Mrs. Pearsall presents various professional development topics (both technology-based and method-based) throughout her school, district, region, and state.
An insatiable desire to learn and improve drive Mrs. Pearsall's work. She has earned many technology certifications including Google Certified Trainer, Nearpod Certified Trainer/PioNear, and Kami Hero, among others. She attributes her success as a teacher to her appetite for continual learning and innovation as well as being willing and able to adapt to the ever-changing needs of her students.
Mrs. Pearsall lives in Elizabethtown, KY with her husband, four children, and myriad of pets. Her hobbies include blogging, reading, yoga, and traveling.
2019 Outstanding Tech Support- Nathan Seaton, Owensboro Independant
Nathan Seaton is the Instructional Technology Specialist for Owensboro Public Schools. In his 10 years with the district, he has also served as Instructional Assistant (EBD), School Technology Coordinator, Fine Arts Technical Director, Digital Curriculum Support Specialist, and District Technician. Nathan is a proud supporter of the Owensboro-Daviess County community where he lives, attended high school and college, and contributes his time and talents to several nonprofit organizations.
In all aspects of his life, Nathan is never satisfied with the status quo and is constantly seeking ways to make things better or more efficient. Whether it's adding more gadgets to his smart home or beta-testing the newest EdTech innovations, Nathan loves being a lifelong learner and a facilitator of learning. In his "spare time" he started an all-digital local news source in Owensboro which now has over 25,000 readers.
2019 Making IT Happen - Harold Burchell, KDE/OET
2018 Outstanding Leader - Bob Moore, Fayette County
Bob Moore has been working in the education technology field since 2000. Currently the Director of Technology for Fayette County Public Schools, he has also worked as a technician for FCPS, as the Director of Technology for Madison County Schools, and has served in the United States Army, most recently as a Signal Officer. He earned an MBA from Morehead State University.
Bob believes that students come first, teachers are second, and everyone else comes after students and teachers. He believes that technology can provide ways for students to learn and achieve that weren’t possible before, but only if we change the way we teach. He also believes that we must provide opportunities for all students, particularly those students that might be disadvantaged otherwise.
As a leader, Bob believes that his two most important jobs are to accomplish the mission and take care of his employees. He believes that leaders should give employees the training and tools to succeed, and has been dedicated to providing high quality PD opportunities to his staff, teachers, and other leaders around the district.
Bob has been married to Christina for 25 years and has two children, Allen and Samantha. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors.
2018 Outstanding Teacher - Rebecca King, Pikeville Independent
Rebecca King is a twenty-three year veteran of teaching. In 2014, she received National Board Certification in Adolescent and Young Adulthood English Language Arts. Prior to that, she completed her Masters of Arts in English at Morehead State University. Her enthusiasm for using technology in the classroom is direct result of her study at the Breadloaf School of English and work with the Breadloaf Teacher Leader Network. Engaging in collaborative exchanges with teachers in other states and our own helped her realize the power of technology to provide wide access for students to different cultures and learning experiences. The secret she discovered is technology is a tool, which used intentionally, can provide diverse learning situations which increase student engagement.
2018 Outstanding Tech Support- Sam Condor, Fayette County
Sam Conder is a senior network administrator for Fayette County Public Schools in Lexington, Kentucky. In his 21 years with the district he has served as a support technician, technical trainer, and network administrator. Sam is a lifelong resident of the Bluegrass State and is a graduate of Lafayette High School in Lexington, KY and Lexington Community College where he earned an Associate Degree in Applied Science. Sam and his wife Adele live in Midway, Kentucky. When not at work Sam enjoys hiking the Appalachian Trail and fly fishing.
2018 Making IT Happen - Jeff Sebulsky, KDE/OET
2017 Outstanding Leader - Steve Gumm, Barren County
Steve Gumm came to Barren County Schools in August 1998 from working in industry where he was an IT Manager for a local computer company. Steve graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Communications and later went on to become a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer while obtaining many other industry certifications. When Steve came to Barren County Schools there was only one machine per building connected to the Internet via a dial up connection. Fast-forward to 2017 and Barren now has one of the most robust networks and wireless infrastructures in the state. Steve brought his philosophy into the classrooms that technology should be as reliable the light switches in the room. Steve often says “Technology is what we do, People are why we are here.”
2017 Outstanding Teacher - Christopher Godby, Russell County
Chris Godby has taught social studies at Russell County High School for 22 of his 23 years in education. From the beginning of his career he has shared his passion for instructional technology through helping other teachers and students discover new and exciting ways to learn in the digital age. As School Technology Coordinator for RCHS since 1999, he has conducted numerous tech trainings for his district. Despite his long career, he is always seeking to learn new things and share them with others. As a school leader, he has served on the site-based council for almost 10 years. Outside of school, he has been the communications director at his church since 2004. He is also chairman and webmaster of the Central Ky Tennis Series. He has developed and maintained several educational and small-business web sites over the years.
In 2015 he received the Excellence in Teaching Award from Campbellsville University, and in 2016 he achieved the title of Apple Teacher. His media students have won multiple awards since 2000 for their school newscasts. Chris lives in Russell Springs with his wife Laura, son Carson (7), and daughter Calli (6). He is on Twitter @mrgodby.
2017 Outstanding Tech Support - Andrew Hobbs, Bullitt County
Andrew Hobbs (Andy as he is known to his friends) started his career in Education Technology with Bullitt County Public Schools in January of 2000. The son of 2 educators, his entire immediate family is in education, his sister an Elementary Librarian and his wife a Middle School Art Educator. Andy is a product of the Bullitt County School system, graduating from Bullitt East High School in 1998. He volunteered in the technology department for 2 years before being hired as a Computer Technician in 2000. In 2007 he was promoted to Network Engineer for the district where he is tasked with design and maintenance of networks in 27 locations, management of the datacenter and application development for the district. Andy loves solving problems and faces challenges head on.
Andy met his wife, Angela, in 2002 and they were married in September of 2007. They live in Mt. Washington with their 2 sons, Henry and Max. As an Eagle Scout Andy enjoys the outdoors. He is a long time woodworker, a love that was instilled in him from an early age by his late father Kenny.
2017 Making IT Happen - Gary Grant, KySTE Executive Director
Gary Grant began his teaching career in 1974 in Camden, Ohio after serving as an officer in the US Air Force during the Vietnam War. He taught middle school math. He and his family moved to St. Petersburg, FL in 1980 where he again taught middle school math. In 1981 Grant left teaching to begin a career as a computer programmer in banking. He and his family moved to Kentucky in 1990 where he returned to teaching middle school in Meade County School District. Grant taught middle school math, science, and reading. While at Meade County he became very involved with STLP. Grant’s first student showcase project was a gifted class that he taught. The class was a collaboration of Gifted and Functionally Disabled students. Grant’s involvement in STLP continued to grow. In 2007 he received the STLP Ambassador Award and in 2013 he was honored with the Lydia Wells Sledge STLP MVP Award. Grant retired from Meade County Schools in 2008. In December, 2009 he was hired as Executive Director of KySTE. As Executive Director he helped co-ordinate the Spring KySTE Conference from 2010-2017. Grant received the ISTE ‘Making IT Happen’ Award at KySTE 2017 Conference. Mr. Grant will retire as Executive Director, June 30, 2017.